If you’re like most people, you worry about money. You worry about having enough to make ends meet, enough to pay the mortgage, or the rent, enough to save for your child’s college tuition, enough for retirement. Most of us don’t really have the opportunity to consider whether we should leave our children enough assets so that they could be independently wealthy.
But if you could, would you make your children independently (other than on you) wealthy?
“[leave your children] enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”
I’m not sure that I would. Because while it’s nice to think of a life for your children where money is not an issue (or for ourselves, for that matter) — so that they can pursue their dreams without financial constraints and worrying about making ends meet, a life of comfort and travel, a life of freedom and luxury, at the same time,we’ve all heard stories of spoiled rich kids that, let me cut to the chase, fritter their lives away, party it up, seem to live at the intersection of entitlement and boredom. I believe that everyone needs a passion, a life goal to pursue and I think that sometimes having to earn a living facilitates that. In 1986, Warren Buffet famously said that a very wealthy person should give his or her children “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”
And I think that’s where I am. I would want to give my children a comfortable cushion, but not one that is so comfortable that they didn’t think that they had to work. Fortunately, I don’t see excessive wealth in my future, so I will not have to make these difficult decisions.
What about you? If you could, would you bestow wealth on your children or do you think they should earn it on their own?